Hubby and I said goodbye this morning to some guests dear to our hearts. Heather, her husband, and her mother hail from Northern Ireland and they have been visiting us now for the last 10 years. Her mother always says how much it is like visiting her other home whenever they stay with us. She put it very well when she said that Blenheim Lodge is her home in the Lake District, and she was simply leaving her home in Belfast to stay in her home in the Lake District.

Home can mean different things to different people. But for our regular guests to Blenheim Lodge, their home from home – our Bowness-on-Windermere bed and breakfast guest house – means that they feel right at home here, bantering with us, updating us on what they have been doing and what has happened in the interim between visits, sharing a cuppa, and generally feeling relaxed and comfortable in a familiar place which they love and treat with as much respect as they would their own homes. A real home is also someplace where one feels safe and secure in the knowledge that one is always appreciated for one’s own self, and we hope that everyone who visits with us will always feel that this is the case for them.

A fireplace with a tray of tea, newpapers and magazines to read - come and enjoy our lounge at Blenheim Lodge.
Relax in our cosy lounge by the fireplace; read your newspaper in peace; enjoy a cup of tea or coffee . . . just bliss!

Before our Irish guests began their yearly visits to us, they had stayed in another guest house on the main road. The following year, they did not visit the Lake District, but some of their friends came to stay with us instead. The report back must have been favourable as our Irish guests now visit us yearly. They have told Hubby and I how much they enjoy the friendliness and warmth of our guest house, which encourages us especially when times are bad.

However, what I want to share in this post is something that I found quite enlightening. Heather’s mother, who is 75 years of age, told me today that she suffers from asthma; and what started her yearly visits to the Lakes was a recommendation by her doctor to come here as a kind of therapy. Supposedly, the fresh air of the Lakes and the plentiful trees which expire oxygen would help her to breathe more easily. Her doctor’s therapy must work as Heather’s mother visits us each year and she says that the visits help with her health.

Speaking personally, I do believe that the clean air at the top of Brantfell Road where Blenheim Lodge is situated does indeed help with getting rid of respiratory problems. I used to suffer terribly from coughs, colds, influenza, sinusitis and laryngitis when I lived or worked  in busy cities, where my throat would tighten up painfully whenever I was near dusty roads in smog-filled air. In fact, the situation was so bad that I was referred to various ENT consultants for help in finding out the causes of my infections.

When we moved to the Lake District, Hubby and I were adamant that we would not live by a main road, partly because we wanted to avoid the noise and traffic of busy crowds and late night revellers, but also because we craved a quiet countryside setting. Blenheim Lodge, which nestles against 50 acres of countryside comprising woodlands and fields whilst boasting some of the best views of Lake Windermere and its surrounding mountains, was ideally situated. We wanted to be close enough for a short easy walk to the centre of town and the Lake for the convenience of guests visiting without private transport; however, as this was to be our family home, we also wanted to be far enough away from the madding crowd in order to enjoy our own oasis of peace and quiet. Besides we had a dog then; and the fact that the house shared a border with acres of land for great walkies was a real draw.

woodlands behind blenheim lodge
The Dales Way Footpath as seen from our back garden and a guest bedroom, also called ‘The Dalesway’. The National Trust fence you see separates our garden from National Park fells.

Since moving to Blenheim Lodge, I have had no more than a cold a year – if that! This is an extraordinary bonus for someone who has had to undergo various tests to check for allergies and other causes of the respiratory problems I had suffered during the previous 40 years! Thus, when Heather’s mother explained why they had started to visit Blenheim Lodge year in and year out, I immediately understood her reasoning. The other guest house she had stayed at before discovering ours is on the main road, where busy traffic – and its resultant fumes – trundles past its windows all the time. On the other hand, Blenheim Lodge is at the end of a cul-de-sac, where vehicles do not infiltrate unless they have business to be here. Moreover, the trees, bushes and fells at the back of the house breathe out lovely oxygen which helps to calm her asthma.

So we have now said our goodbyes to our Irish family for 2012. We hope that we will see them again next year as one of the party has had his hours of work cut by more than half which will of course affect their lifestyle. The political and business decisions and actions of the high and mighty and their detrimental effects on the current economy surely have much to answer for! Let us hope that the economic downturn will show an upturn instead very soon.

The fells behind our Bowness-on-Windermere bed and breakfast, ‘where the deer and the antelope play’. Well . . . not quite! But certainly where the sheep and the cows graze.

Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’